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Showing posts from March 2, 2018

Google tiff brings an end to Amazon selling Nest products

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Amazon and Google probably won't kiss and make up anytime soon. According to Business Insider, Amazon's retail team told Nest on a call that the e-commerce website won't be listing the Google-owned company's newer products. Those include Nest's new thermostats and its Secure home security system launched late last year. While the team didn't say who exactly issued the order, it reportedly told Nest's employees that the decision "came from the top." Whether that means Amazon chief Jeff Bezos was behind the move is unclear -- either way, Nest is apparently responding in kind by leaving the website altogether.BI said that once Nest's current inventory on Amazon is sold out, it'll no longer replenish its stocks. Nest wants to be able to offer its whole portfolio on the platform. It would rather not sell anything on the website at all if it can't, though it's still unclear if that means even third-party sellers can't list Nest devic…

MoviePass blackouts and anti-fraud tests upset some customers

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As MoviePass continues to grow its subscriber base, the all-you-can-watch theater card has upset some customers with a pair of recent moves. This week customers complain that they've seen many showings of the new Jennifer Lawrence movie Red Sparrow marked "not supported" by their pass. As Pop Culture Beast theorizes, this could be an attempt to black out certain theaters, drive users to others and prove the service's value as a way of leading traffic to particular movies or locations. While it's a bit harder to see Red Sparrow, MoviePass is pushing Death Wish, which also opened this week.As we continue to enhance our service for everyone, certain inventory may not be available at all times, and the only place all of this is reflected in real-time is in the app. Please make sure to always check the app before heading to the theaters! — MoviePass (@MoviePass) March 1, 2018The other issue is the reports it has been requiring some users to send in pictures of their t…

UK and Australia are monitoring their domains with Have I Been Pwned

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A lot of people have used Troy Hunt's Have I Been Pwned to see if their email addresses are attached to any services that have experienced data breaches. Large organizations can also use it to search their domain names as a group and now, the service counts the UK and Australian governments among them.As Hunt explained in a blog post: "Amongst those verified domain searches are government departments and they too are enormously varied; local councils, legal and health services, telecoms and infrastructure etc...The thing is, loads of government departments within different countries have all been running these searches independently and that means an awful lot of duplication of effort has been going on."So, to make things more efficient, he's set up the service to allow the UK's National Cyber Security Centre and the Australian Cyber Security Centre to be able to search for any .gov.uk or .gov.au domain, respectively. This way, the governments can search all gove…

YouTube is replacing the green screen with an AI tool

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Google is bringing pro-level video-editing techniques to your phone. The search juggernaut is using AI and machine learning (naturally) to make replacing the background of video you take as easy as adding an Instagram filter to a photo. There's a lot of technical jargon explaining how it all works at the source link, but suffice to say, based on the results it looks pretty convincing. All without the need for an elaborate green screen setup, too.The tech is only available in a limited beta, and even then, just for certain YouTube creators. To get just a little more limited, the feature is just for "stories" using the video service's new video format. Yes, they look like Snapchat's and Instagram's video captures by the same name. Don't trust me? Glance immediately below this paragraph. The results aren't perfect, of course -- there are some halo-like artifacts around the edges of dark clothing, for example -- but this looks like the next logical step af…

MoviePass won’t let its customers buy tickets to Red Sparrow in some markets

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MoviePass is reportedly preventing some of its subscribers from buying tickets to Jennifer Lawrence’s new action movie, seemingly as part of a negotiation strategy with the film industry. In this case, MoviePass users on Twitter have reported running into trouble trying to see Red Sparrow, which is blacked out in the MoviePass mobile app in some markets with a message that reads, “This movie is not supported by MoviePass.”“We occasionally remove some films from our ticketing inventory in some markets for a limited time, similar to how we organically promote films in certain markets to better understand member behavior,” MoviePass told Slashfilm in a statement. “As part of this ongoing testing, we have stepped up our efforts to remind...Continue reading… via The Verge - Tech Posts "http://ift.tt/2td3VRW"

Comcast xFi customers get push notifications for WiFi activity

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Comcast is introducing a new feature for its Xfinity xFi customers. Starting this week, users will receive a push notification anytime there is a change in their network. That means that if your child hops on the Wi-Fi when they're supposed to be asleep, now a push notification will rat them out.The notification events include a new device joining the home network, a change to the WiFi name or password, any tweaking of security settings, if the WiFi network has been hidden or unhidden and if the home network's IP address has been changed. It's not clear whether users can customize these notifications. However, if you don't want them pushed to your phone, then you can find all of them within the Notification Center of the xFi app.Via:CNETSource:Xfinity via Engadget RSS Feed "http://ift.tt/2FPXqY4"

Apple hires another Sony TV exec to boost its streaming efforts

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Apple sure likes to use Sony's TV wing as a talent pool for its streaming video team — it just lured away another executive. Angelica Guerra, Sony Pictures Television's production leader for Latin American and US Hispanic content, has joined Apple as its head of Latin American programming. It's not certain how this will affect Apple's online video strategy, but she's reporting to Apple's international creative development lead Morgan Wandell.Guerra played a key role in Sony's Spanish-language strategy during her tenure: she watched over big-name shows ranging from Metastasis (the adaptation of Breaking Bad) to Mary Magdalene.The hiring spree started in earnest in June 2017, when Apple hired Sony presidents Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg to lead its fledgling original programming division. Three more vice presidents (Max Aronson, Kim Rozenfeld and Ali Woodruff) followed in September. It's hard to say if this will continue, but it's evident that Ap…

Arizona no longer requires safety drivers in autonomous vehicles

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Arizona will now allow self-driving cars to operate in the state without a safety driver behind the wheel. Governor Doug Ducey signed an executive order this week making it legal for these vehicles to operate on their own as long as they abide by all federal and state safety standards. "As technology advances, our policies and priorities must adapt to remain competitive in today's economy," Governor Ducey said in a statement. "This executive order embraces new technologies by creating an environment that supports autonomous vehicle innovation and maintains a focus on public safety."Ducey's order comes just days after California announced that fully driverless cars will be allowed on its roads starting in April. And both states have played host to a number of self-driving vehicles tests in recent years. In Arizona, Waymo, Intel, Uber and GM are among those testing their driverless tech. However, while California will require remote operators and special perm…

This is what some of the earliest stars in the universe might have looked like

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Space Meanwhile in space: moon activity and satellites watching satellite launches .There's a lot happening here on the ground, but meanwhile, in space... via Popular Science "http://ift.tt/2F8jGeh"

Now Available on Steam - Call of Duty®: WWII The Resistance DLC Pack 1

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Call of Duty®: WWII The Resistance DLC Pack 1 is Now Available on Steam!

Continue the epic scale of war with DLC Pack 1 for Call of Duty®: WWII - The Resistance. Fight in iconic locations centered around historic resistance uprisings in three new Multiplayer maps, as well as an all new objective-based War mode mission, 'Operation Intercept'. Plus, experience the latest Nazi Zombies chapter, 'The Darkest Shore'. Buy the Season Pass or Digital Deluxe Edition to access DLC Pack 1.

via Steam RSS News Feed "http://ift.tt/2H02fNL"

Here are the new phones and trends from Mobile World Congress 2018

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Technology Couldn't make it to Barcelona? No worries. Here's what you need to see.Sony has a new flagship phone, headphone jacks are pretty much dead, and phones have screen notches now for some reason. via Popular Science "http://ift.tt/2FlE3bD"

Twitch clarifies its updated guidelines in new FAQ

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Last month, Twitch announced that it would be updating its community guidelines in order to clarify its policies on harassment, hate speech and sexual content. But while they were initially set to go into effect on February 19th, Twitch decided to push that date back to March 5th in light of all of the questions it received over the new guidelines. At the time, Twitch said, "It's important [the guidelines] are clear to everyone and we need to better explain some sections, so we're pushing back enforcement to start March 5." It also said it was working on an updated FAQ regarding the guidelines, and today, Twitch released it.The FAQ clarifies what constitutes hateful conduct and what Twitch streamers are expected to do about hateful or harassing comments in their chats. Twitch says that it expects streamers to "make a good faith effort to moderate their chat" and suggests using tools like AutoMod, a moderation team or third-party tools. "So long as you …

Lego will soon make bricks out of sugarcane bioplastics

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Over the next few years, select Lego pieces will start being made with plant-derived materials as part of the company's pledge to create more sustainable products. Parts resembling leaves, bushes and trees will be made from a polyethylene created with ethanol made from sugarcane. And while these only make up between 1 and 2 percent of all the pieces Lego makes, it's "a great first step in our ambitious commitment of making all Lego bricks using sustainable materials," Lego VP of environmental responsibility Tim Brooks said on its website. These 'green' pieces will be released in sets starting this year.Give your biggest "green" to the very FIRST #sustainable LEGO Bricks! LEGO botanical elements including leaves and trees will now be made from sugarcane-based plastic.The first "greens" are to appear in LEGO sets later this year. Sweeet🌿#PlantsfromPlantshttps://t.co/rZKijykjYOpic.twitter.com/yraEOLq5NM — LEGO (@LEGO_Group) March 1, 2018It&#…

Smart lights could make your house look like an interactive club

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Most people think of smart bulbs when they think of connected lighting, but we’re now starting to see connected lighting applications outside the bulb. I brought a few different LED lights on Circuit Breaker Live this week to test: the Nanoleaf Aurora, Lifx Beam, and the C By GE Sol. Each of these is more of a design statement. I’ve previously reviewed the Sol and enjoyed my time with it. The circular ring of light ranges from a bright blue tint to a warmer yellow. It can’t handle any funky, fun colors, which is a bummer. It also features Amazon’s Alex assistant, which isn’t necessary.The Aurora and Beam are similar products from two different companies. Both visualize music, although Nanoleaf’s solution involves a module with a...Continue reading… via The Verge - Tech Posts "http://ift.tt/2oFsNNq"

Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive VR experience is out now

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The first VR experience based on author Brandon Sanderson’s popular Stormlight Archive series has arrived. The Way of Kings: Escape the Shattered Plains marks the first time that the books have been translated to a visual medium, giving fans the chance to put themselves in the shoes of one of the series’ main heroes, Kaladin Stormblessed, as well as get the chance to see what a possible film or TV show adaptation could look like further down the line.The Way of Kings: Escape the Shattered Plains was developed by Arcturus in partnership with DMG Entertainment with a twofold purpose in mind: the aforementioned fan experience is part of the proceedings, but the VR session will also be used to help DMG Entertainment (which owns the rights...Continue reading… via The Verge - Tech Posts "http://ift.tt/2FOvOSQ"

Japan's cryptocurrency exchanges plan self-regulating committee

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Government-registered cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan are setting up a self-regulation body in the region. The move, Reuters reports, is an effort to legitimize and establish trust in the area following the $530 million Coincheck theft in January. There isn't a name for the body yet and similarly, there's no word for when all the paperwork will be finalized. It follows Japan's national oversight of the sector last year, and South Korea's crypto regulation in late January.News of the regulatory body's formation started tricking out in late February, with reports that it could be a merger of two existing firms, Japan Cryptocurrency Business Association and Japan Blockchain Association.The plan is to only allow government-approved exchanges, but that rule already seems a bit weak. Specifically, Reuters writes that "the body will later invite other cryptocurrency exchanges whose applications for registration with the government are pending, as well as those that…

How 'sex trafficking' just opened the censorship floodgates

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In a 388 to 25 vote Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed legislation that makes websites criminally responsible if they can be seen as facilitating sex work. It still needs to get through the Senate, but with his daughter's endorsement, Trump is anticipated to sign it. Along with its maddening misconceptions about preventing sex trafficking and helping victims, FOSTA-SESTA incorrectly defines sex work and sex trafficking as one thing.It's all about policing content. Just not racist or extremist content. Only the content Morality in Media (now known as National Center on Sexual Exploitation, a key proponent of FOSTA-SESTA) doesn't like.Now, you'd think that in a time when YouTube is plastered with extremist videos and Instagram gives murderers room to express themselves, some legislation would come along to encourage website owners to tackle those problems. But you'd be wrong. Instead, conservative groups have rushed in to force changes to Section 230 of the…

Samsung’s Galaxy S9 Oscars ad has Issa Rae telling you to make something awkward

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Samsung just released its new Oscars-themed ad for the recently announced Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus phones. The ad was directed by Dee Rees, who teamed up with her DP from Mudbound, Rachel Morrison.The 60-second spot begins with two women deciding they want to make something using the phones, but they’re not sure where to start. A bunch of celebrities and influencers jump in to answer that question, often drawing from their own bodies of creative work.Actress and director Issa Rae, for instance, says, “Make something awkward,” referencing her YouTube web series The Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl, which became the inspiration for her HBO series Insecure. Constance Wu, star of the upcoming Crazy Rich Asians film and Fresh Off the...Continue reading… via The Verge - Tech Posts "http://ift.tt/2FNhCcO"

Facebook orders Kim Kardashian West's celebrity pranking show

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Facebook has ordered a series by Kim Kardashian-West where kids prank their famous celebrity parents. But given that it's a live, unscripted show, those watching it on the social media platform might be chosen to lend their pranking expertise. Plus, show producers (and the kids themselves) will crowdsource ideas from the Facebook community."Inspired by Kardashian West's own fun family antics, You Kiddin' Me is a comedic prank series where the kids are in charge and celebrities must do everything their own children say," reads the press release. But it's the community interaction that has the most promise for a Facebook-only show. Likewise, ESPN is bringing its First Take: Your Take show to the social platform and inviting the community to participate -- something which could make or break either series.Via:VarietySource:PR Newswire via Engadget RSS Feed "http://ift.tt/2GW3ygM"

Testing LG V30S ThinQ's hit-or-miss camera tricks

The UK is getting an all-game show streaming service

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There are quite a few subscription video on demand services out there these days and there's about to be one more. A trio of media execs have come together to form InQuisiTiVe Media and will soon launch a subscription service all about British quiz shows. IQTV is scheduled to launch in the UK this July and will offer over 100 quiz show titles including Mastermind, Celebrity Mastermind, The Weakest Link, Countdown and Only Connect. Deals with BBC Worldwide, Banijay and Channel 4 will allow it to have an ongoing stream of new episodes. InQuisiTiVe Media was launched by former Zodiak Media CEO Marc-Antoine d'Halluin, former Lovefilm exec Nick James and Rod Henwood former head of the Harry Potter digital platform Pottermore.A streaming service dedicated to game shows seems rather niche, but that's what IQTV's founders are going for. "Intelligent quiz shows represent an attractive, untapped genre for a niche SVOD service," Henwood told Variety. "They have sig…

The best baby monitor

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By Harry Sawyers, Sarah Kovac, Winnie YangThis post was done in partnership with Wirecutter. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter's independently chosen editorial picks, it may earn affiliate commissions that support its work. Read the full article here.Who should get thisNot everyone needs a baby monitor. If you live in a smaller house or apartment, keep your infant in close proximity, or just generally don't feel the need to monitor your baby as they're sleeping (the infant cry is hard to miss!), you may find that a monitor is unnecessary.But, for many parents, a baby monitor is a part of daily life. A baby monitor gives you a camera and/or microphone near the crib, and a separate rechargeable parent unit (aka, a monitor) that connects wirelessly and can travel with you throughout the house, either working while plugged in or running off its battery. It's nice to see your children in bed, dreaming happily, sleeping in adorable new positions, cuddling with animals, a…

YouTube is being sued for ‘reverse discrimination’

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YouTube is being sued by one of its former employees, who claims that the company stopped hiring white and Asian men for technical positions. The Wall Street Journal reports that the reasons behind this decision was efforts to increase diversity in the company's employee pool.Arne Wilberg, a white man who was a recruiter at YouTube for four years, claims that the company sets diversity quotas for hiring. Wilberg says that he was instructed to toss applications that weren't from women and underrepresented minorities (black and Hispanic), as well as cancel interviews with people who didn't meet these criteria. Others familiar with YouTube's hiring practices were able to corroborate some of these accusations, according to The Wall Street Journal.Recruiters at YouTube tracked the hiring of underrepresented minorities with a "diversity tracker." The team set yearly goals for hiring, and tracked progress on these documents. Wilberg refused to cooperate with these h…

Pooping on a mountain is even more complicated than it sounds

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Environment Our guide to evacuating ethically in the wildernessEven most casual hikers know they should “pack out” their garbage—but plenty of them feign ignorance when it comes to packing out poop. And that's a huge problem. via Popular Science "http://ift.tt/2td7984"

Alexa lost its voice... for real this time

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Has Alexa been giving you the cold shoulder recently? You're far from the only one. Outages in Amazon's cloud services muted the voice assistant for many people on March 2nd, producing error messages when you spoke commands to Echo speakers and other Alexa-equipped devices. The issue didn't affect everyone (we successfully spoke to Alexa in Canada during the outage, for instance) and could sometimes be overcome by using the Alexa app, but you certainly didn't want to depend on the AI helper for anything important.Amazon's issue also affected us, we'd add — it prevented us from updating the site properly for a few hours. Sorry about that.We've asked Amazon for comment and will let you know when it can share more details. Whatever it says, the incident is a not-so-subtle reminder of the risks involved in making a device heavily dependent on the internet, even for local tasks. It's great when it works, but it can be maddening when everything goes south. An…